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April 29, 2013

Safety Tip: Working with Wet Concrete

Concrete is one of the most widely used construction materials, commonly found on both residential and commercial construction sites. But just because it's a common material doesn't mean it can be taken lightly.

Eye PPE Safety Signs
In fact, concrete can be hazardous in all forms: powder, liquid and solid. Wet cement (an ingredient in concrete) is caustic, abrasive and drying. Exposure to wet concrete can result in skin irritation or even first-, second- or third-degree chemical burns. Other common hazards include skin and eye irritation. Here's a collection of tips for safely working with wet concrete:
  • Wear appropriate PPE such as tall rubber boots, pants, waterproof gloves and long-sleeved shirts.
  • If concrete contacts your skin, immediately wash it off with clean water and replace any wet clothing or PPE.
  • Wear eye protection with side shields, or safety goggles. Eyes can be seriously injured by splashing concrete.
  • Ground all electric tools and use with care. Wet concrete can conduct electricity.
  • Be aware of pinch points when raising or lowering concrete chutes.
  • Protect your back. Place wet concrete via chute, wheelbarrow or pump, as close to the work area as possible. Concrete should be pushed, not lifted, into place.
  • Use waterproof knee pads or a dry board when kneeling to place or finish concrete.
 Wet Concrete First Aid:

  • Workers may not experience acute symptoms right away if wet concrete touches their skin. If a burning sensation continues or worsens after flushing the area with water, seek medical attention.
  • If wet concrete splashes the eyes, flush continuously with clean water for at least 15 minutes and then go to the hospital.

Learn more about concrete safety with these links


  1. My husband and I are getting ready to put in a new driveway this next month. We don't know a lot about concrete, but we figured that it shouldn't be too hard to put in. We already put up the forms to hold the cement in place. I'm glad that we were able to find these safety tips, because I had no idea that concrete could do so much damage to your skin.

  2. In the second bullet point, you mention to immediately wash off the concrete when it touches your skin. Are there any harmful chemicals in concrete to harm your skin? When I imagine this in my head, it almost reminds me of the fifth season of Game of Thrones where there's those stone-men that turn you into stone if you get touched by them. At any rate, I'll keep that in mind in regards to safety when doing our concrete steps.